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scribbled sound

13 Jan

Today’s emo comes as a guest post from my coworker, friend, and toughest music critic, Erik. Music comes to the rescue on a daily if not hourly basis during the 9-5, and I love bouncing songs off Erik, even if only about 5% of them stick. I’m down for the challenge, and the wins are big. Oh and Erik is really good at writing.

Today’s Emo: Scribbled Paper / Little Dragon

‘recalling a piercing voice in old dreams / and ghostly images of black trains’

The fluffy static of a brushed drum hangs like mist; a corpulent bass morosely plucks out its line; the soft pop of congas in the background plays counterpoint to a piano, and at one point, an electric organ. Subtle touches and traces reign in the eclectic sonic habitat of Little Dragon’s “Scribbled Paper,” not least of all lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s spectral voice. For me, the song’s a séance conjuring a blend of noir-film farewells and flash-bulb memories from my own emotional history. Just as the unknown words scribbled on a note to the singer make her shiver, the song makes me flutter with the feeling I’m about to bump into the lover who jilted me last, with the uncanny goosebumps of her palpable absence.  And for all this condensed sentiment, I have only our Master of Ceremonies to thank. Thanks for turning me onto Little Dragon, Tor. Sorry for being so tough to please. Viva Le Emo! #emo – Erik

Today’s Untz: Safe and Sound / Capital Cities (Discotech remix)

‘I could show you love / in a tidal wave of mystery / you’ll still be standing next to me’

One of my favorite songs of 2011? Safe and Sound. A sweet remix of it that has me wanting to blow trumpets off of rooftops? Yes please. I like to have the original version of this song queued up on my ipod to wake me up in the morning to help me rally to take on the day, but this version makes me want to get down to it at night. Happy Friday. #untz


a little home

23 Nov

A home themed track to go with the holiday weekend alongside your pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s Emo: Home / Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

‘hot and heavy pumpkin pie / chocolate candy Jesus Christ / ain’t nothing please me more than you’

I am lucky to have a concept of home that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, returning for the holidays to the house I grew up in with a family that has picnics under the Christmas tree every Christmas Eve and that lies down on the kitchen floor between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert in order to burp to make more room for the final course.

Edward Sharpe’s version of Home translates this feeling into a love, and I totally dig it… ultimately it is people and not places that cause this sense of comfort. And people can be anywhere. #emo

Today’s Untz: Little Man / Little Dragon (Tycho remix)

‘something missing in your smile / something missing in your soul’

A chill, minimal take on Little Dragon’s Little Man by one of San Francisco’s own. Tycho, aka Scott Hansen, is playing the Independent on December 10th, and if I survive Santa Con that day I will be sure to check him out-ambient beats could serve as the perfect antidote to a morning of mayhem running around Polk Street in a full santa suit. Although maybe I should wear it to the show. #untz

star shadow

14 Nov

And the beat goes on.

Today’s Emo: Dark Star / Polica

‘ain’t no man in this world who could pull me down from my dark star’

Gayngs may have taken themselves off the streets for the time being, but two of their talent, producer Ryan Olson and singer Channy Casselle have joined forces to craft Polica in the supergroup’s wake. Dark Star features lot of smooth brass rolling throughout, met with plenty of sass come from Channy. The sultry sound has me thinking of a singer in a smokey old club, and conveys the kind of subtle urgency that makes you want to pull someone into a dark corner.

Excited to see Casselle join the leading ladies of the fall alongside the likes of Lana del Rey and Class Actress. Her echoed, slightly sinister vocals have me reminiscent of a favorite songstress of my middle school days, Fiona Apple. Sway your way through Monday. #emo

Today’s Untz: Scale it Back / DJ Shadow ft. Little Dragon (Party Ben remix)

‘and when you reach up, the sky – I stay…’

When sifting through potential Monday morning untz I tend to sway towards the softer stuff. Epic tracks without any build can feel jarring to take with your Monday morning alarm, and it’s best not to get too riled up so early in the week when Friday feels far from reach. Thus this steady track from DJ Shadow, featuring the cool and collected vocals of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano, remixed by Party Ben. You can almost hear a hint of Donna’s Last Chance in the beat. #untz

titanium dragons

12 Aug

Outside Lands has arrived and I am taking today off to not miss a beat. Time to bundle up, brace myself against the wrath of San Francisco summer in Golden Gate Park, and dance my face off (and chill) for three days.  Most excited to start the weekend with Foster the People, dance through the middle with the boys of Starfucker, and close things out with Arcade Fire. Sleeping is giving in… so lift those heavy eyelids.

Two Outside Lands oriented tracks to start things off right.

Today’s Emo: Ritual Union / Little Dragon

‘I was wonderin’ / how the white dress / and the mistress / and his spirit / are holdin’ my hand’

Sassy and sultry, just how I like my lady driven music. Our protagonist sounds to have fidelity troubles, but makes them sound so good… strong vocals, trickling echos, little pockets of trambone-like synth, and a beat that makes you want to sway your hips and/or grab someone’s hand.

Japanese-Swede Yukimi Nagano fronts this Swedish electro-soul group, and this is the title track off their third LP. Lucky I found LD before they slay Sunday afternoon at OSL. #emo

Today’s Untz: Titanium / David Guetta ft. Sia

‘fire away’

New Guetta with a side of Sia… a surprisingly delightful combination of guilty pleasure untz: Sia’s signature beautiful vocals, fierce lyrics, and oh yeah, some serious beats. The track has leaked off of Guetta’s upcoming LP, Nothing But the Beat, due out August 30th. The album will be dripping with collaborations (surprise) with the likes of Flo Rida, Jennifer Hudson, Timbaland and Dev throwing down in tracks. I will be riding this first taste of it all into my weekend, where I will hopefully be seeing Sia at the Twin Peaks stage tomorrow. #untz